Some Random Thoughts
While sitting here thinking of something to do other than the long list of things I should do, I thought about Age of Empires. To have the game here will certainly keep me busy waste away a lot of precious time. Yesterday I finished series 4 of Game of Thrones where they also fight between kingdoms in order to own everything.. I thought a bit about the aim of the game which is to conquer all other kingdoms which in turn means that you own all kingdoms, the game stops there. Obviously I haven't see the end of Game of Thrones but it will probably end the same as Age of Empires which is very odd taking into account that you spent all this time acquiring kingdoms and now that you have them time stops, life stops. I guess there is a place where one have enough, thats when you have everything, but it also seem that life then stops.
Actually Trying to Find It
This Finding Quintessence thing is much harder than I thought. It's only now that I realize my only reference to this was movies... Through the struggles of the past 2 months I have become hard towards the natives, financially driven, and intolerant towards lesser educated people. This need to end. Even this is part of the path, struggling with myself, I just don't know how long this will last and if I will ever be able to change myself.
To be honest I don't even know what I should change into. How far should I tolerate and give without receiving. I know that sounds selfish and when I give it should not be to receive. Thing is that these people somehow got into a believe system where the white man provides and will just give whatever they ask for. This has probably happened the passed few centuries through NGO's etc. and also ensured that they stay poor in mind and in possession.
What I aimed to do here was to teach them ways of doing things better. Like I said earlier I do not want to westernise them but simply help them to live richer lives and not to be robbed by the system.
These people are very keen to learn, that mean they say they are desperate for someone to teach them. Though whenever I try to correct them or teach them anything I always get a reply that "it's our culture" or "this is the way we do it".
That way of thinking just got me to a place where I just cannot bother to try and teach them anything.
Through the cities and into the countryside of Malawi there's one noticeable thing thats everywhere, that is the categories where wealth reside. A friend of mine always said, "Zak there's only money in sex and religion. Go for any of those and you'll be home free". I always thought that's a very pessimistic way of looking at life and common existence, but I can see clearly now.
Shadrech is a boy that 16 years old. He received primary and secondary learning. We do have difficulty understanding each other since his English aren't so good. Yet this boy's outlook and what he realized saddens me and shows that the phenomenon isn't that well hidden. He asked me the other day why he haven't seen me in church. These people go to church religiously (sorry for that, couldn't resist). I replied that my Tonga is still a bit rusty. He then said that I should start my own religion. Now this is unfortunately a very easy task. Driving from town there's about 14 different affiliations. He then said that I would make a lot of money and that everyone will come to "Zaki's church". If a 16 year old boy have realized the position of religion as a financial institution and not that of holiness or some godly message, then where does it leave the older folk or the young ones that is supposed to take over?
I'm using a very primitive yet efficient way of illustrating this. Let's take a look at the buildings where these categorical institutions reside. All buildings in town are falling apart except financial institutions, those are situated in the best buildings that receives constant maintenance, or so it seems. Next is the buildings housing religious affiliations. These are bigger and better built than any house you will find in the city. Even the churches among the villages are vast in comparison to any other buildings. Next in line will be the properties of government official and MP's. They are huge and I've seen some with dams and little cottages built there, apart from the main house. Then we have the city folk, some blessed with running water. Last is the villagers that just cannot get ahead since they generate the least and are always the victims of exploitation.
I didn't realize this in South Africa but thinking back its most probably the same, just in a different scale. In South Africa there's no clear distinction between the classes but in Malawi its crystal clear. There's not a lot of classes here. There’s the wealthy, the middle class, and the poor. That might be the general classes everywhere, I wont even know. The difference is that it's so obvious here, I've never seen it like this. The vast majority is poor where the farmers and villagers top the poverty rank Everyone else is middle class and government officials are wealthy according to Malawian standards.
I used to believe that civilized is just another form of submission to institutions and governments, 3 months into my stay in Malawi I think otherwise. Sure its just a matter of my upbringing, background, and what I am familiar with but I now believe it builds a setting for humankind to further itself. Not in simple forms like progress in technology but progress in itself as humans. With civilized comes respect, manners, and basic understanding between men on treating each other.
It's July 2016 and I'm on a horse Ranch in Kande, a bit South from Nkhata Bay. Found these guys on the web looking for volunteers and jumped for the opportunity of not sitting on the farm losing my mind. I think the first months that I came here, being alone was bearable but it slowly came to a point where I felt I cannot do it anymore.
About a 2 months ago I bought some 50 chicks to raise and sell amongst the villagers. In the process of them growing up I thought that they are probably the most stupid animal that I have ever come across. Now a few days ago I acquired 4 local chickens. They are beautifully coloured although their meat are very tough. I put them in a pen that I built a month ago for them to come accustomed to the new home and not wonder off when I let them out. Today I opened the pen and watched them as they jumped out at first and then jump back inside. Two of them eventually jumped out, onto the ground and started to eat from the food there. The other two looked at them through the wire mesh and walked up and down but didn't jump out to have some for themselves. Again I thought what stupid animal until I realised that they don't want to leave the safety of the pen to pursue the food on the ground. This made me realise how we are just as stupid as the chicken. That we, however there is no future, progress, or happiness in our current circumstances are too scared to leave the safety of the pen to pursue happiness but rather stare at those that do and then criticise them. We have gotten so brain washed by the system to work and produce for the system and be afraid to wonder off in search of something better.
Living in the Now
Lots of 'enlightened' people and some movie scripts go on about being in the now. Sitting here watching my pasta boil in a pot over the fire, a chicken desperately picking for food before darkness finally dawn, and mist forming in the valleys beneath me between the hills. These are mostly the times when I try very hard to be in the present, to feel, hear, and see everything surrounding me without thinking about yesterday, tomorrow, my broken car, the lodge I need to build, or money. I mention try because what they don’t explain is that its a very hard thing to do, especially at age 39 and maybe more so being diagnosed with severe depression... I think. The moments in which I am successful are fleeting and I always have to almost wake up, remind myself to what I am trying to do and carry on with it. Those moments all-together also only have a repetition of about 3 times to which I then sink back into imagined situations of the next day, the horrors of the past, and attempting to make lots of plans which will not even see the light of day. As if my troubles and my situations are a darkness within a cloud that blocks the sun completely, leaving me a non-convertible soul who doesn’t even remember what he was doing 5 minutes ago. But although it seems so trivial and quick to last I believe that every one of those seconds count and has a positive effect on me being. So yes I will endorse it if questioned about it. Sitting still without a phone, TV, or radio trying its best to pollute the air. Not thinking anything besides what I am seeing and hearing but mostly not using my thoughts and simply soaking the beauty that surrounds me.
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